The “prescient” Al Gore

Al Gore’s supporters maintain that, whatever his shortcomings as a campaigner and his susceptibility to ridicule (inventing the internet and all that), he’s still an exceptional statesman by current standards. They point to his leadership on the issue of global warming (see below) and, above all, to his position in late 2002 that we should not invade Iraq, at a time when “lesser” Democrats were supporting the president’s anticipated decision. I suspect that Gore’s supporters are missing the distinction between prescience and their man’s opportunistic ability to take contrarian positions he never took, and likely wouldn’t ever have taken, as an office-holder or a candidate.
But that’s just a suspicion. If Gore really was prescient about Iraq, he deserves credit. Over at the AOL blog, though, I analyze his major pre-invasion speech and argue that, far from being prescient, Gore got must of his predictions wrong.
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